SCREEN SIZE: 55 inches
Screen type: LED-LCD
3D: Yes, 4 3D Glasses included
Connectivity: WiFi, USB, LAN
Smart TV: Yes
Resolution: 1080p, with upscaling
Remote: Magic Motion Remote plus Voice
• Super sharp images
• Beautiful HD upscaling
• Vivid 3d video reproduction
• Takes a little learning to use
• Setup might be a bit complicated
If I had a deep enough wallet, I’d get myself two.
I am an only child, and I must admit that one of my best friends growing up was the TV. As such, I am quite partial to the technology that goes into these devices. When we were given a chance to review LG’s 55-inch 47LA7400 3D TV, I played it cool and volunteered like it was just work, and no big deal. I was secretly thrilled at the thought, and was looking forward to it all week.
Fast forward to the Monday of the review, and Racine and I found ourselves in a nice little boutique hotel in the heart of Makati, in a nice little room, before a large 55-inch monster. LG’s 55LA7400 is a real looker. It bears that minimalist design that is a beautiful combination of understated, but not invisible. Your eyes are immediately drawn to it when you walk into a room. The thin bezel and minimalist stand make it appear like it’s simply floating in mid-air; pretty cool by anyone’s standards.
Not having the patience to wait for the product demo, we decided to power the monolithic beast up. Once the TV was live, it was a few button presses to get to the HD cable signal, and there we were, basking in Full-HD glory from a massive LG TV. I have seen my share of HD TVs, but I have to admit, I was impressed with the performance of this one from LG. It has very good viewing angles. No matter where I situated myself in the room, the picture was bright as day. All the colors were sharp, edges were clear, free of any blurring, and without a single hint of ghosting or submarining. As we were getting sucked in by the HD broadcast of American Idol, a call from the front desk signaled the arrival of the LG team. We were talked through the various features of the TV, and in a very short amount of time, we were armed with a little more knowledge on the TVs functions.
The first, and most impressive feature of the Smart TV was internet connectivity. It had the ability to take apps, with a few key ones installed, such as iWantTV, which lets users watch local shows online for free, a YouTube app, and web browser. All the basic internet functions were there and instantly available, and to access them, we had the TVs magic remote. The device was a combination mouse and remote, and let us navigate through features, control basic functions and manipulate the TVs interface all from the comfort of the bed across the room. Smart TVs admittedly have a lot going on feature-wise, but the smart remote made all of the functions simpler and as easy to use as a desktop computer, plus the added convenience of voice input for text.
From the Smart TV home screen, apps can be launched, icons moved and searches executed with a simple flick of the wrist and press of the Magic Remote’s wheel. We navigated to a flash drive I had plugged in (the TV conveniently supports up to a 2TB drive) and played an HD copy of Sting’s Live in Berlin concert for a few moments. As expected, video quality was superb. We then grabbed a pair of 3D glasses each, and hit the “3D” button on the remote. Despite not being natively 3D, Sting’s glorious visage popped clear out of the screen in very realistic 3D. The audio quality was great, with sufficient volume and top-notch clarity. We also had a 3D Blu-ray copy of The Amazing Spider-Man, and once loaded in and played, we were simply blown away by the quality of the 3D video. There was no discernable stutter, motion was smooth, fluid and depth of the action was incredibly clear and convincing. It really is a beautiful sight.
We then navigated to a non-HD copy of The Walking Dead to look at the TVs ability to upscale non-HD video to HD. While not quite as sharp as native HD, the TV very smoothly upscaled, and there was a very clear improvement over the standard definition video. It even effectively rendered the SD video in 3D HD. If you’re the kind who has a lot of old videos in hard drives and such, this is not a TV that will let you down.
The TV also had special gaming glasses that allow two players to view different screens concurrently, and while it is only applicable to a few games, the gaming glasses do serve another purpose. If someone in the crowd does not want to view a program in 3D, while the rest of the room does, the gaming glasses can be used to remove the 3D effect for just the ones wearing them. It’s a pretty handy solution, and one that viewers for whom 3D is a dizzying experience will greatly appreciate.
The next feature that I found both useful and extremely cool was the Smart Share feature. At the time of the review, I was also in possession of the LG Optimus G, which, conveniently enough, was equipped with the “Smart Share” function. With it I was able to throw the same Sting video to the TV from my phone. We tested it both through the WiFi router located in the room, and directly from the phone’s wireless AP, and the quality was just as sharp, clear and smooth as from a USB flash drive inserted into the back of the TV. The TV can also be controlled via the phone though an android app available on the Google Play store. Another feature that greatly adds to both the convenience and cool factor is the ability to throw the phone’s screen onto the 55-inch display of the TV. One can opt to do this through a set of menu options, or go the more convenient route via the use of NFC tags and an NFC-enabled Android device. We were able to successfully share the phone display and I must admit, Temple Run on a 55-inch screen is more addictive that words can express.
To round off the Smart TV experience, we were provided with the AN-VC400 Skype camera that plugs in via a rear USB port. Once hooked up and configured, we were able to place a Skype call to my girlfriend in QC. We were able to see and hear each other just as clearly as on our computers, though with the added benefit of having a massive screen on which to converse. For those who would rather not sacrifice a USB port for a camera, LG also offers a TV with an almost identical feature set, but has the Skype camera built-in; the 55LA8600.
As through a job as I tried to do with this review, there is far too much an awesome HD 3D TV such as this can do. The day we spent with the device merely allowed us to scratch the surface of what it can really deliver, but from what we had seen, LG is on to a winner. With great visuals, amazing 3D and upscaling abilities, and super-smart features, there is very little this TV cannot do. The only real problem I could find with the device was that it was far too large to toss in my luggage and sneak out. This is the kind of TV around which a home entertainment system is just begging to be built. If you have the space and resources, and want a TV that gives you all the media features you could ever want, the LG 55LA7400 is exactly what you need.
First published in Gadgets Magazine, April 2013
Words by Ren Alcantara